The need to ensure that individual autonomy is considered and respected near the end of life is rapidly increasing. Every single day, over 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 years old and gain Medicare eligibility. Between 2010 and 2050 the number of Americans on Medicare will double to 84 million, octogenarians will quadruple to 8 million, and the ratio of potential caregivers to Americans over 80 years old will dive from 7-to-1 in 2010, to 4-to-1 in 2030 Though we are fortunate that medical science has been able to extend the number of years a Medicare beneficiary is expected to live by about 300 percent, Americans have not changed how they talk about and plan the final stages of life.
Historically, expenditures on retail prescription drugs has never far exceeded 10 percent of all spending on health care, and despite the recent wave of expensive drugs, is not projected to in the future.
Regulations, that is. On Monday, the Supreme Court invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) limitations on mercury emissions from electric power plants.
The coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act relies heavily on expanding eligibility for Medicaid, which raises important questions on the efficacy of the program. Proponents of the law applaud the expansion as a windfall for low-income households, while critics maintain that Medicaid provides poor access relative to private coverage and does not measurably improve the health of beneficiaries. In an attempt to answer these questions, the Commonwealth Fund has weighed in, suggesting that Medicaid beneficiaries are, in many respects, just as well off or better in Medicaid as in private coverage. The report has led some proponents of Medicaid expansion to exaggerate the findings.
Yesterday evening, the White House announced important details for a long awaited Department of Labor (DOL) rule change that will expand who is eligible for overtime pay. In particular, we now know that DOL will more than double the threshold for exempting salaried workers from overtime pay from the current $455 per week to $970 per week. This means that the salaried workers who are entitled to receive time-and-a-half pay for working over 40 hours per week will expand from those earning below $23,660 per year to those earning below $50,440 per year. Now that we know the exact change in the salary threshold, we can precisely examine the workers who will be impacted by the rule change and how successful it will be as a tool to increase incomes and fight poverty.
American Action Forum's Director of Regulatory Policy, Sam Bakins, discusses what it means for the the Obama administration to hit 500 major regulations.
Four groups filed Amici Curiae briefs in support of MetLife lawsuit against the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC): the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the Academic Experts in Financial Regulation (AEFR), and the United States Chamber of Commerce (Chamber). Their arguments took four main forms: • FSOC did not understand the insurance industry, • MetLife is already under rigorous supervision, • FSOC looked narrowly at size alone and ignored a multitude of other factors, and • FSOC did not follow standard federal agency procedures (e.g., benefit-cost analysis).
When I was in college, the Greek system was synonymous with unruly people spilling into the streets and ignoring the wishes of others. Yesterday suggested it is still true. Markets were roiled around the world — in New York, the Dow fell 350 points or just under 2 percent — by the sight of lines of Greeks at ATMs, banks closed until July 6, and capital controls self-imposed by a member of the Eurozone currency union.
In eight years in office, President Bush finalized 496 major regulations. In less than six and a half years, President Obama’s regulators managed to surpass that total, issuing their 500th major regulation this week. The combined cost of major regulations from 2009 to present is a whopping $625 billion.
Some congratulations are in order for the Obama Administration. They have issued 500 “major” regulations at a pace that would make Dale Earnhardt Jr. blush. At that pace, the administration has averaged about one “major” regulation every work week. Tallying up all of the regulations with annual costs of over $100 million, the Obama Administration’s “major” regulations will cost more than $625 billion.